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‘We will not be intimidated’

That was the message from one of the sponsors of last weekend’s Juneteenth observance in Gloucester. And, we’re happy to report, they weren’t.

In spite of a last-minute change in venue, which was done out of an abundance of caution following a possible threat of violence on social media, Sunday’s celebration went ahead as planned. It was a joyous gathering to mark an important date in our nation’s history: June 19, 1865—the day that we, as a nation, began to live up to the words of the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal.”

It’s a shame that a few very frightening words posted online could have such a significant impact on what was otherwise such a happy occasion. But unfortunately, that is the world in which we live today.

Juneteenth is not a celebration only for the descendants of those enslaved persons gathered in Galveston, Texas, who learned on that date that they were “thenceforward, and forever free.” No, it is a reminder to all of us that our de...

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